Do you find yourself wondering how to win customers in this hyper-competitive, always-on era? You're not alone. In a day and age when it's incredibly easy for customers to switch providers or change loyalties, only customer experience can save you.
But how do you create a CX that's unique and meaningful to your customers - and potential customers? The answer is in the data.
By placing the customer at the center of every facet of your organization, you’ll be better positioned to form the personal relationships and hyper-personalized experiences required to stand out among competitors.
However, many companies find that data creates a key challenge to their ability to deliver a winning CX. According to research by Forrester, business leaders are struggling with a host of data barriers for key decision making:
- 92%% say it’s extremely challenging to respond to business and market changes
- 45% say it’s extremely challenging to comply with regulations and requirements
- 44% say it’s extremely challenging to accelerate their shift to digital business
In the Experience Economy, a positive customer experience shouldn’t be just one of the objectives of your organization - it should be your only objective. If each interaction isn’t connected and exceptional, your customers will switch to your competitors without a second thought.
How to Win Customers: Data Unlocks the Door
The cohesiveness of your customer data goes a long way in determining the quality of the customer experience you deliver. Instead of creating disjointed and reactive experiences, you want to use your customer data to understand their needs and wants, and then proactively provide the experience they expect.
To provide this level of CX, there are three key initiatives every business must undertake:
- Break down your internal customer data silos to deliver a true, 360-degree customer profile. Think of it this way: A customer at a major clothing retailer doesn’t differentiate her experience between shopping for sweaters on the website, trying on jeans in the store, or checking her email for a discount code. While your business functions may all be separate departments with separate systems, to your customer it’s all part of the same brand. Your organization needs connected profiles for all interactions to be personalized at any customer touch point, extending beyond marketing; for example, one large retailer uses a predictive behavioral routing system to connect customers with the agent that’s most likely to provide the best interaction based on what the company knows about the customer’s personality.
- Break free from limiting legacy data management technology to deliver an agile and scalable approach to customer data management. Traditional MDM systems are built on yesterday’s technology and are unable to respond quickly enough to today’s business needs. They can take too long to adjust due to complex configuration and management, and are often unable to handle more data sources, higher volume or extra attributes. A flexible, cloud-based MDM platform is essential to delivering real-time access to all your internal data, third-party data, social media data and more across the organization.
- Break through barriers to deliver a personalized customer experience. Just as your customer understands you as one brand across every touchpoint, you need to equally be capable of recognizing your customer as the same person across interactions. With that understanding, you must then deliver a personalized customer experience that takes everything about the customer into account.
By unifying access to data, you’ll not only learn how to win customers, you'll also gain the crucial ability to make the right recommendations at the right time. For example, say your customer had a poor experience with one of your products they bought online, and just returned it to your retail location. On their way back to the car, they get an email on their phone.
Which email messaging are they going to be more receptive to:
- “Sorry you weren’t happy with Product X. Let us make it up to you with a 30% discount.”
- “Thanks for being our biggest fan! Here’s a 30% discount!”
The first option shows situational awareness and will be appreciated, while the second shows that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
If your data is trapped in channels or stuck in systems that are too sluggish and rigid to respond to your ever-changing business needs, you’re unable to deliver the experience your customers expect now, let alone quickly deploy new business models or adapt to a changing market.
Instead of thinking about B2B or B2C, think H2H: Human to Human. To win in the Experience Economy, you need connected customer profiles to humanize your business.